Overlord for Dummies – A Guide to Alliances and Overlords by Nessy
I really don’t know why I am writing this – theoretically, I don’t want other people to be good Overlords – I want them to suck at it and be ineffective. But I feel compelled to write it, so I will.
Strength in Numbers
One of the most important things to creating a strong Alliance, is to have a lot of members relatively early on so that you can be listed on the first page of the alliance list. One man alliances who recruit in chat are annoying and hard to pull off. Your best bet is to get a group of people to play the game with you and join your alliance. For me, I enlisted the aid of my co-workers, a bunch of US Marines. We all joined the game and created an alliance. This gave me 8 members and a leg up on 70% of alliances out there.
The next thing that is important, is to learn how to play the game. While this sounds stupidly obvious, being a good Overlord is half politics and management, and half guiding others on how to play. For this reason, it really helps to know the game, so that you can help and advise others on how to grow strong. Nothing makes an Overlord look sillier then not knowing basic things (like, “What does an Armored Transport do?”). Spend some time with others and in chat soaking up knowledge and asking questions before you decide to take your bid at Overlordship.
So, now that you have a good grasp of game fundamentals, and a small, solid core of people to bolster your alliance numbers, you need to jump ship and join the next realm that opens. Why? Because you’ll never be one of the big dogs in the alliance you started in – everyone has the advantage of time in game on you, and you aren’t going to be able to come up through the ranks. By joining the next opening realm and taking your alliance with you (your friends only, at this point) you can skip to the first page because you’re already established. Being on the first page is very important because most people who join alliances simply spam the Top5 or Top10 until someone lets them into their alliance. Being on the first page of the alliance list is crucial to having a successful alliance.
The time you can put into the game is extremely important, but especially so in the beginning of the game. The first week or so of game time is the most important, when the Top 10 is in flux and not yet set, because if a person applies to 10 alliances, the first person to accept him gets the new member. If you are only coming on once a day to play the game for 30 minutes and accept applicants, you aren’t going to be recruiting very many players – all the more active alliance leaders will have already accepted them. Being in World Chat is also pretty important, as a lot of active members will hang out there. It’s important that your alliance name is seen ande that you demonstrate that you’re a friendly and knowledgeable person and overlord. Messaging people with no tags and asking them to join your alliance also can help you recruit (both in the game, around you and in chat) – just make sure your join messages have good spelling and grammar. While not essential, a lot of potential members are turned off by bad grammar and it can limit the success of your recruiting messages. Here’s a sample recruitment message:
This is a good example of a recruitment letter because it answers the ‘Why should I join an alliance?’ question as well as implies you consider them a possible target if they don’t join your alliance. But it’s subtle.
Hanging out in world chat is a great way to start alliances. If you’re friendly and helpful and foster a sense of camaraderie, people are more likely to enter into an alliance with you. Cold messages – just sending a ‘Would you like to ally with my alliance’ request to people aren’t going to work most of the time. With alliances, though, you need to be careful: consider when looking to ally your self with someone whether that alliance is beneficial to you, or is just going to limit your opportunities to farm. Personally, I don’t like allying with anyone who isn’t Top 10. Anyone below that, and I’m not really worried about them hitting me, because my alliance tag should be protection enough.
Also consider the type of alliance you enter into: the Non-Aggressive Alliance, or the Mutual Aid Alliance. Non-Aggressive alliances basically just state you won’t hit their member and their members won’t hit your members. It’s a good way of keeping people safe. Mutual Aid is where you pledge to bring your alliance into any war that the friendly alliance enters into… this type of alliance can be very destructive to your alliance. Make sure the Overlords are level headed and cool tempered, and not the type to jump into wars at the drop of a hat, or you’ll find your members frequently under attack. In order to keep in touch with your allies’ overlords, you may want to consider creating a Facebook Group and adding them all. Encourage them to add their allies as well, and you may soon find the number of alliances you have increasing. These meetings can also be a good place to exchange info and strategies and learn of beneficial game glitches.
One of the most important aspects of an Overlord is the ability to organize things. In this case, we mean breaking down what will eventually be a 120 man monster into manageable proportions. In order to do this, we’ll turn to the military for some advice. In the military, groups of people are broken down into units – one of the most basic unit is the squad. A squad typically consists of 8-13 people, with one person in charge. For you, this means picking out responsible individuals to lead a group of people. If you joined with a group of your friends or co-workers, then you have a bunch of ready made Squad Leaders. It helps that you actually know them, and know where they live . It can also make things easier if you appoint your core group as Lords and assign them jobs – Minister of Intelligence, Minister of Diplomacy, etc. This frees you up to enjoy the game and makes being Overlord less of a burden. Just make sure you can trust your friends and they aren’t going to be acting immature.
But in any case, having Excel will come in extremely handy here. Make up a roster of all of your people and their power. Then, starting from the top, put one person under each squad leader starting from the top and working your way down. This ensures that your squads are balanced and have an even distribution of power. Each squad will have a ‘strong’ person to help manage retals and the like. If you like, you can post the list to GoogleDocs or on your main FB Group page. You should let the squad leader name their squad – they can let their members suggest stuff/vote on it, or just pick one.
Squads are important because they act as a buffer between you and everyone in your alliance. Instead of everyone coming to you with all of their problems, they can go to their Squad Leader with them. If the squad leader can solve even half of their problems, its less work for you. There are several additional benefits to squads, besides less hassle on your end: they foster camaraderie and a sense of self. It also serves to insulate the flow of information to spies. If you wind up in the top 10, you are inevitably going to have to deal with spies in your alliance. People’s alts that are placed in your alliance to get your info, wild locations, war plans, etc. There isn’t anything you can do about spies without hampering your ability to get new members, so it’s just best to assume you have a spy and try to minimize their influence. By splitting everyone down into squads, you can limit the amount of information available to them because you relay the orders to the squad leaders, and then the squad leaders pass it to the squad. You have no need to mass message the alliance with the info and thus compromise everyone’s marching orders. Some people are also social creatures, and care more about being part of a group then they do about being #1 in the game. Having a group of people to talk to will satisfy these people.
Earlier, I explained how to break down an existing alliance into squads. But how do you actually implement it in game? One way is to create a Facebook Group for each squad. You should create the squad, then add your friend as an Administrator to the squad. You create the squad so that if your Squad Leader gets bored and quits playing, you have access to the Group and can remove them and appoint another individual. It’s best to set the group as Secret, again to contain information. Once you’ve created a squad for each of your squad leaders, message them and give them the list of their squad members. Have each of them contact their squad members and get them to add them as Friends on Facebook and then add them to the group. This process will also allow you to check for obvious alt accounts – people with no facebook profile and no real pictures of themselves, and only gaming posts on their wall. While some people have ‘game’ FB accounts, it is a pretty real indicator of a possible spy so make sure to look for this. Before your squad leaders start contacting people, it’s a good idea to message the entire alliance and let them know that someone will be contacting them shortly and that this person will be their new squad leader.
It is inevitable that people will grow bored with the game and stop playing. Currently, there are no tools to indicate the last time a person has played the game, so your best bet is to do a ‘power check’. To do a powercheck, announce to your alliance that you will be taking a screen shot of the Members List, and that anyone who hasn’t changed power in three days time will be removed from the alliance for being inactive. Then, go to the Members tab in your alliance and sort it by power (that’s if the ability to sort by power has been fixed..). If not, open up your excel spreadsheet and update the power of everyone that you made earlier. You can also take Screen Shots of the members list (by hitting the Print Screen button and then pasting it into paint – for Mac users its Command+shift+3) as opposed to writing it in excel. If the ability to sort is still broken, then Excel is your best bet. Come back three days later and then record everyone’s power again. Those that removed, message them and tell them why they were kicked and then kick them. Regular power checks are important because they remove inactive players who aren’t contributing and prevents others from thinking you’re a farm alliance because of all the inactive players in it. In the beginning, you aren’t going to want to kick anyone as they provide you with more power, but towards the end of the game, you will.
Eventually, you’ll probably be forced to declare war with another alliance. It happens no matter the diplomacy you have – maybe an alliance has been hitting your members too much, or talking smack. It will eventually come down to the point where you need to enter into a hostile state with another group. The most important thing for you to tell your alliance is to hide their troops in sanctuary. While some view this as cowardly, if you’re playing the game correctly, you should be raiding for almost all of your income, and losing all your troops torpedoes your ability to grow. Hide the troops and you have the ability to attack others and gather resources.
The other thing you should do is utilize your squads. You constructed them, and now they should almost run themselves. Break down the world into chunks. Lets say you had 10 squads, as an example. Give the first squad 0,0 – 0,75. Give the second squad 0,75 – 0,150. Etc etc. Within the squad, each squad leader assigns an 8 section chunk to a member for them to scan. IE, 0-8, 9-17, 17-25, etc. All they have to do is scroll over and record any enemy cities they see. In this way, you canquickly get all of the enemy’s co-ords and build a target list. Assign targets to each squad and let the squad deal with each enemy. The biggest person in the squad ‘breaks’ the target of troops and then everyone else in the squad farms it until they warp. Then you change to the next target, etc. Continue until the war ends.
It is always good to ask your members their opinion on things, as it gives them the sense that they have an effect on where the alliance is going and are able to impact its future. Are your considering going to war or ending one? Ask you squad leaders to poll their squads and get you the results. You don’t always have to follow popular opinion (they aren’t going to know how the rest of the alliance voted, only their own squad.. ) but it can’t hurt to know it.Other Dragons of Atlantis Articles
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